Paper 2023/1600

Compress: Generate Small and Fast Masked Pipelined Circuits

Gaëtan Cassiers, Graz University of Technology
Barbara Gigerl, Graz University of Technology
Stefan Mangard, Graz University of Technology
Charles Momin, Université Catholique de Louvain
Rishub Nagpal, Graz University of Technology, Silicon Austria Labs, TU-Graz SAL DES Lab, Graz, Austria

Masking is an effective countermeasure against side-channel attacks. It replaces every logic gate in a computation by a gadget that performs the operation over secret sharings of the circuit's variables. When masking is implemented in hardware, care should be taken to protect against leakage from glitches, which could otherwise undermine the security of masking. This is generally done by adding registers, which stop the propagation of glitches, but introduce additional latency and area cost. In masked pipeline circuits, a high latency further increases the area overheads of masking, due to the need for additional registers that synchronize signals between pipeline stages. In this work, we propose a technique to minimize the number of such pipeline registers, which relies on optimizing the scheduling of the computations across the pipeline stages. We release an implementation of this technique as an open-source tool, COMPRESS. Further, we introduce other optimizations to deduplicate logic between gadgets, perform an optimal selection of masked gadgets, and introduce new gadgets with smaller area. Overall, our optimizations lead to circuits that improve the state-of-the art in area and achieve minimal latency. For example, a masked AES based on an S-box generated by COMPRESS reduces latency by 19% and area by 27% over a state of the art implementations, or, for the same latency, reduces area by 45%.

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gaetan cassiers @ uclouvain be
barbara gigerl @ iaik tugraz at
stefan mangard @ iaik tugraz at
charles momin @ uclouvain be
rishub nagpal @ iaik tugraz at
2024-01-19: last of 3 revisions
2023-10-16: received
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      author = {Gaëtan Cassiers and Barbara Gigerl and Stefan Mangard and Charles Momin and Rishub Nagpal},
      title = {Compress: Generate Small and Fast Masked Pipelined Circuits},
      howpublished = {Cryptology ePrint Archive, Paper 2023/1600},
      year = {2023},
      note = {\url{}},
      url = {}
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